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Why Galileo?

Satellite-based navigation is a key enabler of a modern economy. Such navigation signals are used in several industries, including for Location Based Services, logistics, energy grids and financial systems. Galileo will be the first global satellite positioning system under civilian control. Thus, the availability of these critical services for European citizens will be secured.

Galileo will also offer new high-performance services which could lead to new products and applications. As discussed here, the Galileo services include enhancements to improve positioning and timing accuracy. This is a key driver for new applications which require sub-metre level accuracy. In addition, these signals are designed to be interoperable with other GNSS constellations such as GPS. This will increase the availability and accuracy of positioning information in challenging areas such as dense cityscapes, where coverage can be reduced due to high buildings.

The Galileo services will also offer authenticated signals for both mass market and commercial users. This will help users to know whether the signals they are receiving are actually coming from the Galileo system.

With Galileo, Europe and the world can exploit opportunities provided by satellite navigation to a greater extent than currently possible. European citizens, companies and institutions will all benefit from new opportunities driven by higher accuracy and authenticated services.

In short: Galileo offers increased precision, availability and coverage

  • Precision: the Open Service and High Accuracy Service (HAS) from Galileo will improve the accuracy of positioning and timing information.
  • Authentication: the authenticated enhancements to the Open Service (OS-NMA) and the Signal Authentication Service (SAS) will increase the trustworthiness of the signals received.
  • Availability/coverage: the Galileo system is interoperable with other systems such as GPS, thus improving the availability of satellite-based positioning in high-rise cities.